Futures surge; Interest rates, Biden, Apple, Amazon, GDP data, Jobless claims, and more

Joe Biden

Fed keeps interest rates on hold

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a positive open on Thursday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at ultra-low levels and announced it would keep buying bond purchase bonds to support the economic recovery.

Remarks from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday afternoon suggested that loose monetary policy may remain in place even as the U.S. economy continues to rebound.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden revealed some details of his $1.8 trillion stimulus plan to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening. The president made an impassioned plea to hike taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations to help fund the plan.

As of 5:20 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow gained 122 points, or 0.36% to 33,846. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 26.63 points, or 0.64% to 4,202.88 while S&P 500 ticked up 134.75 points, or 0.97% to 14,027.

Apple shares soar on strong Q2 earnings

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) moved higher early Thursday after the tech titan reported upbeat Q2 earnings, helped by an increase in iPhone sales and strong performance in the Greater China region.

The company booked earnings of $1.40 per share, up from $0.64 in the same period last year, Revenue stood at $89.6 billion, an increase of 54% from a year ago. Analysts expected Apple to post earnings of $0.99 and revenue of $77.35 billion.

Apple shares rose 2.93% to $137.50 apiece in the pre-market trading session

Facebook smashes Street estimates; Q1 revenue jumps 48%

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) shares also traded higher this morning as the social media giant revealed late Wednesday that first-quarter revenue rose 48% to $26.17 billion, topping analyst targets of $23.67 billion.

Earnings came in at $3.30 per share, ahead of expectations of $2.37. Revenues from the company’s advertising business grew 46% to $25.4 billion. Facebook said that daily active users rose 8% year-over-year to 1.88 billion, while monthly active users grew 10% to 2.85 billion.

At the time of writing, shares of Facebook were up $22.9, or 7.46% to $330.00 each in the pre-market trading session.

Eyes on Amazon earnings, Jobless claims, and GDP data

A slew of other companies report earnings on Thursday as well, starting with PG&E (NYSE: PCG), Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) ahead of the market open.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Twitter (NASDAQ: TWTR) will publish their results after the closing bell.

Other reports that may grab your attention after the close include Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), and NIO (NYSE: NIO).

In addition to corporate results, traders are also looking forward to the latest initial jobless claims data, due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Expectations are for another 528,000 new jobless claims to have been filed in the week ended April 24.

U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading is also due at 8:30 a.m. ET.